A Collaborative Meal

Beef
One of the nicest things about cooking, at least for me, is that I find it
relaxing.  I also love the immediate satisfaction of creating something and
getting a final product.  As my kids have gotten older, it is a fun activity
for all of us to plan a meal, make a list, do the shopping, cook the meal,
taste, chit chat and sit down for a meal.  It is really nice.  Last night, I
had the opportunity to do the same thing with some friends.  A bit of a
hectic evening because the time of the year and being a Thursday night but
it was a fun thing to do.  But there is something to be said for too many cooks in the kitchen.

We set out on the menu over the week and then met at the store to shop in
the early afternoon.  We started the second we got home.  Luckily one of us
started off as the sous chef ( although she happens to be a fantastic cook too ) and was
happy to chop and juice.  Lots of tasting, lots of opinions (shock!).  As a
whole, everything came out quite delicious.

Here is our menu.  We began with oysters on the half shell with creme
fraiche and caviar with a crab salad on the side served in pieces of endive.
Great for noshing and champagne.  Our next course was foie gras.  NobodyLemon

had ever made this before and it was quite easy.  We sauteed the foie gras
served on round toasts with a cherry/kumquat port sauce on the side and a
delicious Sauternes. A total wow.  Next was a mixed salad of frisee and mache
with a champagne vinaigrette with toasted walnuts, sliced pears, sprinkled
goat feta (interesting cheese) and a handful of pomegranate seeds.  To clear the palette we had a
served a white Burgundy. Light and nice.  We broke up the next course with a
grapefruit thyme granita.  We moved on to braised bohemian beef ( like a
short rib with no bones ) over polenta (old style from Italy) and a mushroom
ragout.  A bit hit and rich with a nice Burgundy on the side.  Next and
last, thank god, was dessert.  Lemon flan with a lemon sauce and small
phyllo rounds toasted with cinnamon and sugar on top.

Needless to say, I rolled into bed.  Next time, we do a barbecue and sip
beer all day while stoking the flames.